Barbados Education System Challenge, 50 Years and Moving

It has always contemplated some students assuming responsibility for their education at some stage

Posted to the The African Heritage Foundation (AHF) website. The Rastafari continue the tussle to highlight changes needed to improve our education system. We wish the group good luck in their discussions with the Ministry of Education to home school their children – David, Barbados Underground

Since the case of the Rastafari family who were wrongfully charged with failing to send their children to school has caught hold of the public’s eye, it would seem the Barbadian educational system has come under more intense scrutiny. We read a report from the Inter American Development Bank about the failings of the Barbadian educational system. I also saw an article speaking to the elitist structure of the educational system and the list goes on.

Without a doubt, the overwhelming majority of Barbadians agree that something has to be done with our educational system. But what can be done?

The African Heritage Foundation (AHF) is at present developing an African Heritage Academy that seeks to help address the problem of education in Barbados. It is hoped that what the AHF will create can be used as a model for public schools on the island. We need to start making some informed decisions on our educational system and in essence the future of our children. It is in this vein that I pose  a challenge to you.

First, as President of the AHF, on behalf of our members, I am thanking each person who shared any information regarding the case. It is your support that has highlighted the serious flaws in our educational system and has given this matter the direction it is taking now.

Now for the challenge. You are asked to watch the 9.27 minute video below. After watching the video, state one way in which you think the Barbados educational system could benefit from this. Your comment can be made directly here or on FB. Please share this challenge with at least three people you know for sure will take it. The challenge will last just one week.

This challenge is intended to introduce the Barbadian public to new ideas in the arena of education. It serves as an informal survey that can be put forward to the Ministry of Education as a call from our society to address the educational system here in Barbados taking into consideration models of educational systems that actually empower the children.

Take the challenge to change our educational system.

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26 Comments on “Barbados Education System Challenge, 50 Years and Moving”

  1. Violet C Beckles November 6, 2016 at 7:06 PM #

    Educate what? Bajan know nothing of the land under their feet at they look to learn the World to move out like slave learning where they are going next to slave for whites, and other blacks that act white,
    Nothing about their own History after slavery of the 1840s , Nothing in their books or even at UWI about their home,
    Nothing about 491 Plantations with 1756 Maps of Names of the Owners, Nothing of the Progress after slavery, Nothings of the Plantation of sugar reduced by 1920s , Nothing of the Lies of the Barbados Library only listing 396 plantation, Nothing of the Massive Fraud pulled on them by the National Trust Pimps now holding titles as Sirs, Nothing of the Nothing of WW1and WW2 Effects and Affects on Sugar and white plantations owners,Ran off the island selling all thing by Auction , Nothing of the what was sold and who bought, Nothing of Queen Beatrice Jemmott – Henry who bought 200 to 300 of the 491 plantations of the 166 Square Miles of the Masonic Numbers Ruling Barbados , Nothing that the Queen of England was Born on Barbados so the Name Little England? Nothing of the Lawyers were fed by the Queen Beatrice who made very little money as lawyers, Nothing of the loans and the Money with land to help build so- called Government Housing in the Pine Plantation of 410 acres which is still owned by Her Heirs Today,. Nothing of the Land laundering DBLP Mia and Owen with the help of the lawyer who was trusted to do Assent of the plantations CONVENIENCE from owners who sold now missing in History After 1926 to 2016 ,
    Nothing of the Bajans out of slavery and the strides they made in Barbadoes after 1840, To believe they never made a step unless they were step on By ministers and lawyers ,Nothing of the King who rule England at that time was not White, But A Moor ,Nothing but lies and making beds for white on Holiday,

    Nothing of the two parties of the white master enslaving the people with talking points , sardines and corn beef, run and lies, The Native again drunk with sin to be rape again for another and another generation,

    They know Nothing of the Archives, Library, Land tax, Barbados water Company, Land Surveyor role ,UWI, Professors, Sirs , QCs, AGs,Minister and Law Firms role in the crimes against its own People, As you can see the Crown comes before the People of Barbados , they are put to Last Class in their own Country, Education What!


  2. Well Well & Consequences November 6, 2016 at 8:03 PM #

    Learning is supposed to be fun, children should enjoy their childhoods, I know of children in Europe who did not go to school until they were 7 years old and they are totally grounded…

    …..if school is treated like a prison, children will feel like prisoners.


  3. Dompey November 6, 2016 at 9:12 PM #

    Well Well

    School in Barbados during my youth was more like an environment of mere terror. Techers came to school to abused people children through verbal and physical intimidation.


  4. Violet C Beckles November 6, 2016 at 9:16 PM #

    Dompey @ they are still doing it , but now more openly on the sex end of it, None at home for teachers so they going after the kids, Pet-a -files ,
    Now the states , church and states want to make it legal ,


  5. chad99999 November 6, 2016 at 10:48 PM #

    Education reform is difficult because most parents and teachers cannot agree on common approaches to instruction.

    Consider the comment from WW&C that “learning is supposed to be fun” and the complaint from Dompey that his experience of school was frightening. Both suggest a permissive attitude to education that I would strongly disagree with.

    Why? Because our years of elementary and high school are intended to prepare us for the daily slog of adult work. As adults we will have to accept the authority of people we despise, work harder than is good for our health, and literally trade away our freedoms for the pay cheque we need to put some rice and beans on the table.

    Depressing? Damn right!


  6. Colonel Buggy November 6, 2016 at 10:50 PM #

    And if the headmaster,in the old days had problems at home with the wife,the first thing he would do on entering the school, was to whip the Advocate newspaper out of his drooping jacket pocket, and declared Dictation Time, for juniors and seniors alike. The other jacket pocket contained the well used and feared leather strap.
    School should be fun, as Norway advises.


  7. Colonel Buggy November 6, 2016 at 11:34 PM #

    It is said that one cannot be taught Common Sense. But Norway’s system of education, appears to equip its children with the necessary tools needed for the application of practical commonsense , which today in our own society , is dreadfully lacking at all levels.
    Back in the early 60’s I recall sitting an entrance exam, along with 500 other young men mainly from the Secondary Modern Schools and the Senior Schools, all competing for 20 places at the Barbados Technical Institute. Of course we were put forward for technical training, because we were not overly enthusiastic about academics. The exam itself was not academic in nature. It was an Aptitude Test. Many excelled in this test ,and a decision was made to increase the intake from 20 to 60. We spent year,full time, 5 days a week ,in Pre-Apprenticeship classes at Richmond, pursuing subjects which where far more complex than what we were engaged in at secondary school. Technical English, Applied Mathematics, General Science , Machine Drawing and Technical Drawing. Along with Basic Electrics, Plumbing, Carpentry plus others.
    Eventually, after 5 years we completed our various core courses, and its these young men, and others following afterwards, who have kept industry ,especially in Barbados kicking, as most of us ended up as Managers, Trainers and Supervisors, not only in Barbados, but farther afield.
    Alas, most ,if not all of us, have now retired, and we are beginning to see, cracks in the armour at many technical oriented businesses in Barbados, both in the private sector and Government.
    And no wonder, we are now asking young men who are eager to pursue a technical career, to produce academic qualification to be accepted.


  8. Ping Pong November 7, 2016 at 4:32 AM #

    Colonel Buggy

    Isn’t it curious that over 40 years ago, a technical education (in Barbados of all places) which was intended for those deemed “non academic” was actually more complex (and useful) than that experienced at academic institutions?

    Today “non academic” is code for low cognitive ability with a consequential “dumbing down” of technical education. We have regressed to the society’s detriment.


  9. Well Well & Consequences November 7, 2016 at 4:48 AM #

    Chad….dont know how much employment training you were exposed to in the US, but just as learning and childhood is supposed to be a fun experience for All children, when you choose a profession as an adult in the work force, it’s supposed to be one you love, or you will experience drudgery because you are in a profession you hate, solely to pay your bills, which is a recipe for unhappiness, discontent and disaster.

    That is why people change professions to one in which they are more comfortable and happy, which reduces stress in their lives…the options for that are numerous and available in the US.


  10. Hal Austin November 7, 2016 at 5:17 AM #

    Apologies for changing the subject. We get a UK edition of the Nation every week at £1 a copy. But, apart from two pages of local UK news, the 40-page book is rubbish: bad layout, below average subbing, republishing of silly columns such as Quotes for the Keeping, Richard Hoad, that nonsense by Toni-Ann Johnson, Eric Lewis and his Looka Lew – these may be popular columns in Barbados, but they are rubbish in the context of what ‘home’ news Barbadians in Britain are looking for.
    Do the nation executives discuss content with anyone from the UK?


  11. Bush Tea November 7, 2016 at 7:21 AM #

    Boss, if you want English news …just buy an English paper… what you want the Nation to publish?


  12. Well Well & Consequences November 7, 2016 at 7:42 AM #

    Why would Nation News an independent bajan newspaper discuss content with anyone from the UK, shouldn’t the Nation be discussing content with the people of Barbados who have had to put up with their lousy journalistic skills, refusal to print truths and vomit all their slanted biased political crap for decades.

    How does any of that affect people in UK…when bajans who live in UK can hear the truth from their relatives in friends who live in Barbados.’s not like if the 67 million UK residents give a shit about an island they still consider a third world country filled with corrupt black leaders and with a population of black monkeys.

    Is Barbados not a separate country from UK.

    Am I missing something that Hal is not saying.


  13. Colonel Buggy November 7, 2016 at 6:22 PM #

    Ping Pong November 7, 2016 at 4:32 AM #

    Actually a student at UWI who was closely connected to the Training Board,as it was then,done a paper on Technical Education in Barbados, and his research found that the Barbados Technical Institute was established in 1953, with the intention of providing Barbados with a core of highly trained Technicians, to bridge the gap, until such a time that a future University of the West Indies would be in a position to turn out Engineers.


  14. Whitehill November 7, 2016 at 8:35 PM #

    For Heaven’s sake, Hal said with the exception of the two pages of Brit news the remainder of the Nation is rubbish. Those of us living outside of Bdos having grown accustomed to media houses demonstrating why the pen is mightier than the sword are very often left wondering what the hell is this.
    We having received some news from home via our families then rushed out to get our copy of the nation news…Lickmout lou and other crap.
    Hell, I’m living here now and I don’t often buy the crap for reasons Hal mentioned.


    Sorry, back to the main topic


  15. Shontelle Rashida Brathwaite November 8, 2016 at 7:09 AM #

    I attended Primary School in Barbados and remember my cousins going to Secondary School. I used this knowledge to inform my work on a school system that integrates rigorous academic work with fun communal life, as is the foundation of our culture, education and community. Here is what I produced after doing research in Boston Public and Charter Schools for a few years as a substitute, tutor and teacher.


  16. Bush Tea November 8, 2016 at 8:48 AM #

    @ Whitehall
    For Hal and your information, the ‘Nation’ is a shiite rag that was sold off to the OCM people by Harold Hoyte and other Bajan traitors when OCM was looking for a Trojan Horse to bring Barbados to its knees.
    They have no real interests in journalism or in educating its readers, only in spreading the shiite message of CSME …and that Barbadians should be happy to have all their house silver sold to foreigners so that they can buy BMWs.

    The Nation’s role is to convince brass bowls that it is ok to be mediocre; it is ok to have Trini bosses running every shiite; it is ok that insurance claims must be processed by some Trickidadian in T&T before a bajan can get a medical claim paid….

    Why the hell would ANYONE buy such a shiite rag?
    …and why ON EARTH would anyone OUTSIDE of brassbados be even interested?
    …unless of course you are arranging for a Canadian or British scammer to come down and sell Freundel another billion dollar project to build a nuclear power plant or some such shiite..

    …. then the Nation would happily and instinctively ‘sing your praises’ for the brass bowls….. until David(BU) light into your ass of course… 🙂


  17. Ping Pong November 12, 2016 at 10:32 AM #

    Re: interdisciplinary teaching in Finland

    This is not a new idea. However in order that a student understand the issues and interactions relevant to a specific topic such as say “food supply” there FIRST has to be a good background in different subjects (biology, chemistry, geography, mathematics, economics, social studies etc), not only for teachers, but also for students.

    Without a good education of subjects, there is no possibility to get a success in any type of interdisciplinary education of any topic. The education of physicians which is probably the most interdisciplinary of any profession is based on the study of biochemistry, anatomy, genetics, human behaviour, cell biology etc which themselves are based on secondary school study of chemistry, biology, physics and social studies.

    Interdisciplinary approaches are useful (and maybe critical) adjuncts to the curriculum but will not displace subject teaching. Finland is proposing to introduce interdisciplinary education mainly in the upper years of schools.


  18. Ping Pong November 12, 2016 at 11:09 AM #


  19. Bush Tea November 12, 2016 at 11:42 AM #

    @ Ping Pong
    Is there REALLY anything special about Finnish education – apart from the fact that the systems are well structured and properly managed?

    This is a country with a background forged in wars, domination by the Soviet Union, and recently coming into the EU with memories of hard times and with a clear respect and appreciation for values like education and democracy.

    If Barbados had imposed a system of meritocracy, and focused on high quality in all of our areas of national life, we could easily have been a far better example of world class educational results.

    Instead, we adopted the shiite policy of certifying as many people as possible, giving jobs to yard fowls who were good at kowtowing to political pimps and empowering politicians to steal as a right of passage….

    It is not about excellence in education …. it is about the general acceptance of brass bowlery….


  20. David November 12, 2016 at 11:49 AM #

    Recently Minister of Education was forced to respond to a scathing critique of the Barbados education system. Based on his rule of thumb it seems satisfied he did a good job. The problem is that Barbadians are forced to take his word about the performance of our student, it is a big secret. Someone posted in the print media this week that the world does not measure literacy by the ability to write or write.


  21. Hal Austin November 12, 2016 at 12:05 PM #

    How many people have seen the idiocy written in the Nation that Barbados has some of the safest roads in the world? Where do we get these semi-educated idiots from (usually Britain or the US), who do not even speak with authority in their own home.
    It is like some redundant Englishman telling Harrison College its education is one of the best in the world. Only fools and horses believe such nonsense.


  22. David November 12, 2016 at 12:55 PM #

    We need to make Barbados great again.


  23. Ping Pong November 12, 2016 at 12:57 PM #

    Bush Tea

    Many if not all of the features of the Finnish education system were “borrowed” from elsewhere and many of these features are actually part of the Barbados education system. However a system is only as good as the people who administer and operate the system and the society for which the system serves. I have formally and informally studied educational systems for many years. I have concluded that (a) there are no perfect systems and (b) even if a “perfect” system existed many children would still be “failures” or be failed by whatever system is developed.

    The best educational system (or the best in whatever circumstance) is the one that loving, concerned and perceptive parents fashion for their children. This means that without parents first knowing their children (i.e their strengths, weaknesses and interests) and pursuing a pragmatic vision for their children’s development then success will be elusive. As deficient as our school system may be, there are still many opportunities for individual development. No one can be as concerned and as dedicated about the educational development of any individual child as that child’s parents (assuming good parents). I believe the main failure of any educational system is really a failure of parenting. I strongly reject the notion of “it takes a village to raise MY child” especially when the village has no good intentions about my child. This is not to dispute that we all live in a society and the influence of others may be significant but discernment and choice must be exerted in one’s children’s interest.

    Further, an educational systems does not exist in isolation of the society in which it operates. For example, let us take the matter of the health of citizens as distinct from the health (really the medical) care of citizens. If a society has medical care as a significant part of its economy (hospitals, pharmaceuticals, diagnostic devices and prosthetics, nursing homes etc) would one expect a school system to promote in all students good nutrition, exercise, avoidance of harmful substances, healthy behaviour (adequate rest, stress relief etc) and considerate manner to others as significant educational outcomes or those students that show promise as future doctors, biomedical technologists and entrepreneurs?

    Nobody gets to heaven on a group pass.


  24. Colonel Buggy November 12, 2016 at 1:07 PM #

    @Hal. Like a juke box, if you are paying the piper, he must play your tune. But to give him his due he was comparing Barbados with the rest of the region.

    Barbados Road, Best in the World.



  1. The Best Education System Needs Loving, Concerned and Perceptive PARENTS | Barbados Underground - November 13, 2016

    […] following was posted by BU commenter Ping Pong on Barbados Education System Challenge, 50 Years and Moving […]


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